CEFA's Constitutional Forum

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, most of the Australian States and one Territory closed their borders to people from other States. The two states with the highest number of cases, NSW and Victoria, did not close their borders. The ACT also did not close its border.

Throughout the world’s written history Emperors, Kings, dictators, political and community leaders and philosophers searched and struggled to form systems of government. They experimented with new rules and laws.

During a pandemic, when lives are at risk, we want the Government to protect us, no matter what. This raises important public policy questions. Should we still strictly apply the law, or does an emergency justify a Government acting outside the law?

People have been asking recently whether it is constitutionally valid for the States to close their borders to residents of other States.  Doesn’t the Constitution guarantee freedom of movement or prevent States from discriminating against people from other States? 

Thank-you Dr Oscar Roos for your comment on the article we published earlier this week titled: A functioning Parliament during a time of crisis.

As the coronavirus spreads around our cities and towns some of you might be wondering what will happen with our governance. The Commonwealth Parliament is meeting today and perhaps tomorrow with a reduced number of MPs. The two major parties have given each other 30 pairs.

On Tuesday 11 February the High Court handed down its decision in Love v Commonwealth of Australia and Thoms v Commonwealth of Australia.

You might remember the election campaign in 2019 with Liberal and National Party members and candidates announcing grants for sporting clubs. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) at the time was prompted to have a look into the Community Sport Infrastructure program.

Here at CEFA we are getting very excited that stage 2 of the Australian Constitution Centre will soon be funded by the Australian Government. We will be delivering exciting new resources to support the Australian Curriculum Civics and Citizenship years 4 to 10.